Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Little League juniors ready for regional play

TAMPA — There was that one time during the Florida Little League junior baseball state tournament when a bucket of water, strategically placed on the edge of a door and its frame, found the head of a teammate.

Then another when shaving cream was applied to the face of a sleeping player.

"We're a pretty fun team," Palma Ceia/Bayshore manager Scott Linabury said. "You definitely could say the kids are lighthearted."

Except when it comes to the diamond.

PC/BS has been anything but playful this summer when it comes to baseball.

The team captured the state championship last week and will continue its journey toward the World Series this Saturday when it plays West Virginia at Cartersville, Ga., on the opening day of the Little League's Southern Region tournament.

"There's a lot of camaraderie on this team, on and off the field," Linabury said. "And, honestly, the parents may even get along better than the kids. It's that type of situation."

The PC/BS all-stars, age 13-14, is a group that has spent the past few summers together. Linabury said the core of this team has been a part of each other's lives for "about four or five years," and familiarity has been a key.

The core group of this year's team came closest to winning the state tournament, finishing third, in the 9-10 division four years ago. Linabury said although physical changes have played a part in the team's development, their success can be directly linked to progression above the shoulders.

"Mentally, they are a smarter and stronger group than back then," Linabury said. "They are more mature and there is a mindset to win now."

One of PC/BS's biggest advantages is its number of 14-year-olds. Of the 12 players Linabury carries, 11 are categorized as being 14. Although it is an older team according to division, Linabury said most of the teams they have seen have had a physical edge.

"We don't have guys who are 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, like a lot of the teams we saw at (the) state (tournament)," he said. "But that also showed the guys that they can beat anyone, regardless of size."

Through districts, sectionals and the state tournament, PC/BS has lost only one game and scored a bat bag full of runs. At the state tourney in Orlando, PC/SB scored 53 runs — in just five games.

"They are a very disciplined team and it shows in the way they have hit this summer," Linabury said. "They are well conditioned and ready to get things going (this weekend)."

Pete Cordero, who went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles in the state final, and Tanner Anderson led the team in hitting. Nick Rich provides the pop, as evidenced by his first-inning, three-run homer in the state championship game that gave PC/BS a lead it would not relinquish.

On the mound, Linabury's son Tyler, who tossed a complete game in the state semis, is the ace while Anderson provides a strong No. 2. To reach the World Series in Taylor, Mich., however, Scott Linabury said he knows there will have to be a balance between the team's talent and the fun that's been the glue all summer.

"This is important because some of these kids will play in high school and beyond, but some won't," he said.

"So this can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But no matter what, we're going to keep playing for the fun of it."

Little League juniors ready for regional play 07/31/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:24am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs-Jaguars: Five things to watch Thursday in Jacksonville

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs have their second preseason game here Thursday against the Jaguars, and here are five things to keep an eye on as Tampa Bay moves closer to paring its roster from 90 players to 53 by Sept. 3.

    1. AVOIDING BIG PLAYS ON DEFENSE

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. We knew Aguayo was a goner, and 'Hard Knocks' still delivers

    Bucs

    Tuesday night's second installment of Hard Knocks, the HBO show that is going behind the scenes at training camp with the Bucs, had plenty of interesting tidbits, revelations and insights.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. For starters: Rays at Jays, with a different look to lineup

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 6:40: Former Rays reliever LHP J.P. Howell was DFA'd today by the Blue Jays; he had a 7.36 ERA in 16 games.

    Daniel Robertson is expected to make a third straight start tonight, likely at shortstop.
  4. What you might have missed in the second episode of the Bucs on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    We're back for another episode of The Annotated Hard Knocks, trying to find behind-the-scenes insights and things you might have missed in Tuesday's second episode of "Hard Knocks," following the Bucs in …

    As the crowd recognized him and got loud, Jameis Winston jumped up and down in celebration. [GREG AUMAN | Times]
  5. Why Noah Spence could be the Bucs' X-factor

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — Noah Spence crouched in a four-point stance, bending low like a sprinter in starting blocks. At the snap, he took one step to his right, startling Jaguars left tackle Josh Wells with his explosiveness. Wells went for the move and Spence countered with an inside swim move, flying past Wells' right …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Noah Spence (57) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times